Coming to Our Senses book cover

Coming to our Senses: Seeing for the First Time

The Patterson Lecture, delivered by Dr. Susan Barry
Apr 25, 2022, 5:15 PM
Science Center, H105
See access restrictions below

The Neuroscience Department is pleased to present this year’s Patterson Lecture, delivered by Dr. Susan R. Barry, Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences, Mount Holyoke College. Dr. Barry will discuss her experience of gaining 3D stereovision after a lifetime of seeing in only two dimensions, and how intensive vision therapy created new neural connections, and with them, a new view of the world.

This in-person event is open to students, staff, and faculty in the Wellesley College testing protocol. The public is invited to view the livesteam and must register in advance.

Dubbed “Stereo Sue” by neurologist Oliver Sacks in a New Yorker article by that name, Dr. Barry wrote the 2010 book, Fixing My Gaze, about her journey, as well as her newest book, Coming To Our Senses, in which she draws on the stories of two remarkable young adults to show how our brains process raw stimuli into meaning, why ‘gaining a new sense’ requires a fundamental reorganization of the brain, and how our past experiences and personal predilections influence our future observations and growth. While adapting to a new sense after childhood is immensely difficult, it’s not impossible—in the same way that adult athletes continue to train after their brains and bodies are mature, it is possible to become an “athlete of perception.”

For more information, please contact:

Sarah Schwartz,